In this journey, called life, you stumble upon many beautiful moments and moments when you feel you are on top of the world. And then there are stressful and anxious moments when we feel stuck in deep valleys of despair. While beautiful moments feel like sand running through an hourglass, leaving you to wonder how swiftly time flies, the days filled with sadness and worry seem endless and forever.
When you find yourself in the melancholy of life, the most common suggestion that will come your way is ‘you need a break!’ and perhaps the first thing that may come to your mind is a quick travel break which may seem like a perfect distraction from long working hours, endless chores, stressful relationships, anxiety, etc. Your getaway preference could be anything … from exploring, backpacking, going on an adventure, learning something new or to not doing anything at all.
But what about when you get back from the vacation? Think about it … how many vacations from the past have actually left you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed and how many have left you feeling drained and stressed? There could be endless reasons for the holiday stressors, like missing baggage, flight delays and cancellations, ill health, weather, accommodation, and food quality, bad weather or just the stress of planning what to do and what not to do.
But there is one formula that can never go wrong and that is clubbing wellness, yoga and holiday together and making it a mindfulness getaway! A wellness-break or a Yoga retreat is a brilliant opportunity to refresh, rejuvenate, feel motivated and inspired. It is an opportunity to experience something completely different, a different culture, learn something new, cultivate healthy habits and make new friends while focussing on maintaining optimal physical and mental health.
“Yoga is a perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.’ Jason Crandell
It’s a perfect combination of stress-free getaway, plenty of me-time, time to reflect, get pampered, eat healthily, learn new yoga flows, and just unwind. It is your chance to get away from the daily chaos, stress and pollution and detox from inside out! This way you do not have to worry about putting on extra kilos on a holiday! And no, you do not have to be an expert Yogi or a regular Yoga practitioner to go for these retreats.
Choosing the right location, with soothing views and rejuvenating, healthy food, an easy-going and relaxing day to day routine with creative and innovative yoga sessions are a few points to keep in mind while choosing your Yoga holiday. Going on a yoga retreat is one of the most effective ways to reset your mind, body, and soul, reflect and refresh for a new start. Let’s learn how:
1. Esteemed guidance
Sometimes responsibilities and pressure can be the reason for your mounting stress. On yoga retreats, you find support in your interactions with new friends and guidance in the lessons of yoga teachers that gives you the strength to release pressure from your life in the hands of souls that care of you. When you are able to share the burden with others, you innately feel light and at ease.
2. The healing touch of Nature
The urban lifestyle is noisy and unsettling. The hustle-bustle of modern life is a harbinger of physical and psychological stress. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental problems create havoc on inner peace and silence. According to studies, a change in the environment impacts the psychological health of a person. By going on a Yoga retreat, you give yourself a change of pace, change of atmosphere, and a break from the mundane routine that increases your wellbeing and inner peace.
3. Power of Yoga asanas
Asanas are central to the practice of Yoga and Yoga retreats. Striking yoga postures and Vinyasa flows from popular Yoga styles such as Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and more relaxed forms like Yin Yoga, gives your body a boost of vitality and flexibility. Synchronized breathing with yoga postures activates the parasympathetic nervous system– a calm state of the brain.
Also, yoga postures aid in detoxification, helping you feel fitter and healthier at all levels. Before confirming the retreat, find out about the teachers who will be conducting the classes and which style of Yoga they will be teaching. You do not have to necessarily stick to one style of Yoga and retreat is a wonderful chance to practice twice a day at least and also to learn and experiment with new styles. An experienced teacher will help you understand the practice and its benefits on the physical and subtle body.
4. Serenity with Meditation
The practice of Yoga asana and meditation can be used to achieve inner balance, making you a master of your own life by helping you build awareness. A yoga retreat is one of the best opportunities to learn and make meditation and mindfulness a part of your daily routine. Since time immemorial, monks, saints, and seers have been practicing the science of meditation and have been preaching this art to mankind in the truest form. Choose a Yoga retreat which includes lessons on how to meditate. Meditation acts as a cleansing practice for the brain and helps you to explore new possibilities.
5. Rejuvenation with Ayurveda
We give ourselves to the mundane daily regime that rips our body and soul from the joys of relaxation. By going on a Yoga retreat, you give yourself a break from the monotonous. During Ayurveda massages on Yoga retreats, the effective massaging techniques employed by masseur heal the aches of the body and sufferings of the mind. This also helps enhance your practice of asana and meditation. Choose retreats that include sessions of traditional massages. A get-away which includes pampering, healing, and spirituality – what more can you ask for?
6. Superfoods for the body, mind, and soul
In Ayurveda, it is believed that foods that are pure and natural reward the body the most. When foods are close to their state in nature, they deliver the maximum potent nutrition. On Yoga retreats, you are served meals that are prepared from organic, whole-food ingredients that help unlock the brain’s intelligence and happiness power. Remember to opt for a Yoga retreat that includes healthy food options, preferably, vegetarian, organic and Ayurvedic remedies.
7. Face the fears with adventures
In life, we encounter emotions that we are scared to face. Anxiety keeps us away from dealing with unavoidable emotions and situations. Adventures are a way to overcome this paralyzing pattern of behavior. On Yoga vacations, you are indulged in adventures where you learn to face and overcome your fears.
You can experience this from static to dynamic movements in your asana practice or even by pushing your limits when off the mat! If you love adventures, you can opt for retreats that include activities like trekking, mountain climbing, hiking, horseback riding, surfing, etc. An adventure-packed Yoga holiday will help you step out of your comfort zone and help you cope with anxious episodes while savoring relief.
“World peace begins with Inner peace.” ~Dalai Lama.
8. Spirituality for inner peace
Inner peace can be difficult to attain but it is not impossible. By practicing meditation and mindfulness on Yoga holidays, a person can experience peace of heart, mind, senses, and behavior. By calming your anxious heart and nervous system, you can enjoy the quietness in thoughts and action. A peaceful atmosphere, a healthy daily routine along with spiritual practices, leads to the attainment of inner peace.
9. Philosophical teachings for dealing with difficult situations
A Yoga retreat curriculum incorporates the philosophical teachings, and lessons of revered Yoga gurus that give participants valuable insight on how to deal with the difficult situations of life with a smile on their face. The goal of Yoga, which is cessations of the fluctuations of the mind and the process of Yoga, which is, uniting the mind, body, and spirit, has to be experienced on and off the mat. The philosophy of Yoga gives us a blueprint to follow which helps us lead a healthy and happy life. A Yoga retreat is a perfect time to spend time practicing on the mat and taking time off to discuss, understand, reflect and implement the teachings off the mat.
10. An improved and healthy lifestyle:
From learning Yoga practices to interactions with like-minded people, from eating superfoods to breathing fresh air, from doing nothing to going on adventures, from learning and unlearning to the quality time spent with the Self on a Yoga retreat, all this leads an individual on the path of a healthy lifestyle. The person returns back with a healthy system and a happy soul.
Some of the world’s popular Yoga retreats take place in landscapes that are blessed with green forests, or beautiful mountains or serene beaches. Locations like India, Costa Rica, Thailand, Hawaii, Bali and Croatia top the list of most preferred Yoga holiday destinations. And Thailand, specifically, attracts Yogis from all over the world.
“Like Yoga, traveling is never complete. It is a lifetime practice.”
Thailand has many beautiful and peaceful landscapes and has some of the world’s best Yoga retreats. Your next escape to Thailand can be at any of the following Thai Yoga retreats– the wonderland of white beaches, luscious forests, historical sites, adventures, and more. The natural wonders of Thailand make it perfect for a Yoga retreat experience.
A yoga retreat in Thailand presents stressed souls an opportunity to break the shackles of physical and psychological distress and rediscover and enjoy the solace that resides around us and within us.
Yoga Retreat in Thailand: An Experience of Health, Beauty, Serenity
Chiang Mai: A yoga retreat in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand’s largest city, has won the hearts of many. The sweeping beauty of the town and resulting calmness acts as a perfect setting to delve into the peaceful art of Yoga. The food offered at the town is equally healthy and lip-smacking which is one of the most important features of Yoga retreats.
Bangkok: Amidst the chaos and sounds, Bangkok has a unique charm that appeals to the senses. The Buddhist temples, historical places, untouched vegetation, and virgin beauty of the place are ideal for rejuvenating expeditions like Yoga retreats.
Koh Phangan: Koh Phangan is an island blessed with warm temperatures, pristine beaches, clear blue oceans, all of which together create a benevolent atmosphere for peaceful and hassle-free yoga practices on a Yoga retreat in Thailand.
Koh Samui: Koh Samui Island is a home of beauty, wellness, and Yoga. A Yoga retreat in Koh Samui is your chance to ease away the body aches through Yoga and meditation practices.
Don’t let anything come in the way of you and your Yoga retreat experience. It can be a truly invigorating and life-changing experience as it will help you understand yourself better and fall in love with yourself all over again.
Author bio: Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organizes 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and conducts TTC across India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to Yoga, health, nature, the Himalayas and Trekking in India.